Dealing With Breakdowns: Restoring Your Integrity
If you’re having breakdowns in your sexual integrity, then we want to applaud you. A breakdown is when something doesn’t go how you want it to go. What a breakdown indicates is that you have a commitment towards something. The fact you have a commitment towards living a life of sexual integrity is awe-inspiring.
Most of the world views porn as normal, or at least something that has to be tolerated; and masturbation has been widely accepted as both normal and healthy. There aren’t many people willing to stand up and commit to living a masturbation-less and porn-free life — to commit to honoring their spouse as the owner of their sexual organ.
Most of the world can’t even dare imagine those things are possible.
No matter how down in the dumps you get, remember that you’re on the path. Most people don’t even know the path is there. In our eyes, you’re a superhero.
You’re playing the game of sexual integrity.
One way of thinking about integrity is honoring your word. In life, you won’t always be able to keep your word, but you can always honor it. By honoring your word, you restore your integrity.
How To Restore Your Integrity
Use this structure moving forward when reporting about relapses to your AP and group.
1. Acknowledge where you lacked integrity
You slipped. Own that. What people tend to do is justify what happened. They’ll open up with the whole story about how some crappy thing happened at work and they were dealing with a lot of stress and just couldn’t help themselves. Trying to win people over in sympathizing with them.
You don’t need that Bull—t. Your support team already cares about you. They don’t need the story, and neither do you. Stick to what happened.
“On Wednesday I slipped two times. In the morning I was browsing through Instagram and indulged in yoga pants pictures. That led me to looking at porn and masturbating. I felt like crap, and used porn again in the evening to make myself feel better.”
2. Explore the impact of your lack of integrity
With internet porn, it’s easy to ex out all the windows, clear your history, and try to pretend nothing happened. And with masturbation, it’s even easier to pretend that nothing happened because you don’t need a device to partake; you only need yourself. We numb ourselves to the impact that not honoring our word has on us. Get present to the impact that you acting out has on yourself and others.
It doesn’t have to be earth-shattering; it’s whatever you can recognize at the time.
“The impact of me acting out on Wednesday is I looked at porn when I meant to be studying, so I fell behind in my school work. That made me feel like crap the whole day so ended up not doing anything productive. I then ended up snapping at my younger brother unnecessarily and making him feel bad.”
3. Make a new promise
What’s a new commitment you can make to honor your word moving forward? What’s a structure you can put in place to support your promise?
This is a powerful way to examine your sexual integrity armor and see where there are chinks. What’s something new you can put in place, what’s something you can get rid of?
“My new promise is to no longer use Instagram on my phone. I will delete the app and use my laptop if I really want to use it.”
This is a powerful way to address relapses. It moves you forward rather than wallow in guilt for having messed up. Practice this with your group, and hold each other up to using this format to report about slips (as opposed to going into storytelling mode)
Things to keep in mind
- You’ll go out of integrity again and again. Keep your commitment to honoring your word, again and again. Acknowledge the impact it had, and create a new structure moving forward.
- This format is for you to provide an empowering context for moving forward in your sexual integrity. It’s not about pleasing others. Don’t make up promises just because you think it will appease your support people. Promise to implement new structure that you genuinely want to implement to support your commitment moving forward.